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Personal Reflections...
October 1, 2001...

the day I was told "You Have Parkinson's"

This is what I posted to my friends on a message board that day in October of 2001:

Well, the doctor has finally confirmed what we had begun to suspect:  I do have dystonia and I do have Parkinson’s disease.  I have been on the Parkinson’s medication for the past 3 weeks and, ever since I took the first pill, the tremor I’ve had on my right side for the past two years has basically disappeared!  This medication has given me my life back!

 

We were using the Parkinson’s medication as a diagnostic tool, since only people with the disease will respond to this medication.  Although I pretty much knew what the doctor was going to tell me before I even entered his office, I still wasn’t prepared to hear him say those words to me.  He sat across from me, behind his mahogany desk with the plethora of degrees looking down from his walls and, even though I already knew what he was going to tell me, I still froze as he gave me my “life sentence” in three little words: you have Parkinson’s. 

 

He was so compassionate.  He handed me a big box of tissues and reassured me that they are making AMAZING breakthroughs in Neurological Research.  In the meantime, I am going to try several different medications and we should be able to have a therapeutic dose in about two or three months.  He was also very understanding about my desire to continue Breastfeeding Joey.  Even though the doctor said that he had no problems with my continuing to Breastfeed while taking this medication, especially since Joey is eating solids now, we are going to supplement him with a bit of formula during the day to limit his exposure to my medication.

 

So, I now have a missing link to the many things that have puzzled me over the past two years or more: depression; tremor in my right hand, leg, eye and jaw; extreme fatigue; loss of strength in the right side…among other things.  It was Parkinson’s all along.  As the Doctor said, “Lauren, I’m not telling you something new.  You’ve been living with this for years.  It just didn’t have a name.  Now you know it’s Parkinson’s and we’ll be able to improve your quality of life”. 

 

Lauren Sue

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Photo by Lauren Sue